Opinion | Family

Young Pups in Love

My family's own story bears out the wisdom of 'The Case for Early Marriage.'

Forty-one years ago last March, when my husband, David, and I went to get our marriage license, he had to bring a letter of permission from his parents. In California in 1968, a woman could marry without permission at age 18, but a man had to be at least 21. I was 19 and David was 20 - though in the excitement of the moment, he forgot his age and told the clerk he was 18. Good thing he had that letter.

Twenty-one years later, our 18-year-old daughter, Molly, brought an entire choir to our Illinois home from Rice University in Houston, Texas. After the choir left, one young man stayed. As we were getting ready to sit down for Sunday dinner, Molly said, "Byron and I have something we'd like to discuss with you and Dad. Would you rather do it now, or after dinner?"

I gulped, thinking of only two possible conversational topics. "Now," I said.

"Okay," said Molly. "We would like to get married as soon as we can support ourselves. We were thinking maybe next year."

"Whew!" said David and I.

This was ...

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